Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! If you've answered this week's questions, add your link at the end of my post, then go say hi to your neighbor. March on!

1. March is National Women's History Month. In that vein, who are three women who've been influential in your life? How so?

Well my sweet mama is the obvious number one female influence in my life. How so? A million trillion ways beginning with how I mother my own children, the role faith plays in my everyday being, my love of books, the way I cook, the value, importance, and intent I put into home and family. I am my mother in so many ways. 

I feel lucky to have grown up beside a very dear neighbor, a woman who influenced me probably far more than she realized. I was a teenager and she was a young mom, and she was so special to me. When someone mentions Proverbs 31 she is the person who comes to mind. She was a woman of deep faith, gentle, warm, intelligent. 

She'd had a career prior to having children, but when I knew her she was in a season of parenting young children, completely devoted to her husband and girls. She found great joy and personal contentment in being a wife and mom, and this was a message my longing heart needed to hear. She had more patience than anyone I've ever known, and the way she lived her life inspired me to be my best self. 

Finally, I'm going to say my daughters. They amaze me on a regular basis and make me want to be everything they think I am.  

2. In what ways do you think women have it easier than men?

Killing spiders and dealing with rodents falls under hubs domain, so there's that.  I'm not sure easier is the word I'd choose. I think we have it 'differently' than men, not neccesarily easier or harder. When I think about how our marriage works I struggle to articulate what it is I find so freeing about the fact that we are different. Every man-woman relationship stands on it's own, so I'm not generalizing here, but...

When the world threatens to overwhelm, when it all feels too fragile for my heart to hold, I know I can hand it off to my hubs and he knows what to do with it. Mend it, save it, fix it, change it, take charge of it. I think men feel the weight of that sort of 'hand-off' in ways women don't. 

Will an illustration help? How about this-if we're standing on the edge of a cliff and one of us has to jump, he'll be the one to jump. He'll do it without me asking, prompting, or pushing because of that weight I just mentioned. 

3. What do you need most right now: faith, love, hope, or peace?

Thankfully we don't ever really have to choose, but if I'm picking one for today it's hope.  I cannot imagine living a single day without hope. 

4. Do you have a collection? If so, what do you collect and why?

Well I might collect beautiful pottery. Not on purpose really, but I have a hard time passing by a pretty dish, platter, or pitcher without picking it up, looking closer, and quite often buying.

I don't make a point of collecting, or adding to what I already have, or telling people I collect it. I just really enjoy looking at beautiful pottery all around the world and buying a piece now and then. Adding it to my 'collection'. 

5. Plaids, checks, polka dots, stripes...your favorite?

It depends on what we're striping, plaiding, checking or dotting. I like a tartan plaid throw on a couch by the fire. I like checks and stripes in decorating, but again it depends on many other factors. I have a couple of plaid shirts, and several with stripes (vertical only please). There's something really happy about polka dots, and I do have a sweater that's polka dotted, but mostly I like them on bags, gift wrap, that sort of thing. 

This question is too hard. I can't choose a favorite. 

6.  In what ways are you the same as your childhood self?

I still wear my rose colored glasses. They're a bit scuffed and scratched in 2016, but I continue to see the world from a glass half full point of view. 

7. You're a contestant on the TV game show Jeopardy. What category will you ace?

I always enjoy the word-related categories. Shocking I know, but words are my jam. I like idioms and proverbs, phrase origins, quotes, separated by a common language, homonyms, rhyming words, grammar and language and other similar topics.  The word ace might be over-estimating my ability, but I don't think I'd hang my head in shame with these categories either.  

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of influential women...can we just discuss this picture for a moment? 

Look who's rockin' the plaid shorts-ha! Maybe I'll take back my answer to #5 and go with plaid after all. That's my mother-in-law wearing the striped top. 

We are so very young. 

It's the first thing that hits me when I look at this photograph. I have no idea what year it was taken, but I'm going with 1986. There's nothing in the background to give me a frame of reference, but those shorts definitely say 1986. 

As do my super skinny arms and my unadulterated brunette hair. 

Thirty years ago we sat in lounge chairs on a sunny summer day.
Relaxed. Chatting. Familiar. 

It's how I always picture us in my head. How I like to picture us still.  

My mother-in-law celebrates a big birthday this week, and I look forward to celebrating and spoiling her just a little. 

I got the best one y'all. 


  1. I so enjoyed reading your answers to this Hodgepodge, Joyce. I relate to that relationship between you and your husband. Ours is much the same. And I love the love you have for your mother in law. And now that you mention it, language should also have been my Jeopardy category, for I too love so much about it! Thanks for hosting.

  2. Yay! I had success in linking up today :) Thank the Lord for sons willing to problem solve!

    I love the picture of you and your MIL. We have similar photos in our collection. In my opinion, people don't do enough relaxing in lawn chairs, anymore.

    Jeopardy isn't my 'cup of tea', but Brad and Jennifer can knock out those answers in a heartbeat! Great minds...

    Thanks so much for hosting another great Hodgepodge.

    Kathy (Reflections)

  3. Loved your answer to #2, that is it exactly. When everything is just too much, Honey is a do-er. He is a kiss on the cheek from God to me and I am forever thankful!
    I said polka dots were happy too!
    Those shorts? Soo-pah sexy!
    Happy Birthday to your mother-in-law!

  4. Joyce... another great Hodgepodge with provocative questions. You are right about men and rodents - never thought of that. You are rockin' those cute shorts. Have a great week.

  5. My mom was my #1 pick, as well. She taught me so much about life, family, love, being a mother. I miss her terribly. I love how you answered #2 and I agree with you on all points. My husband would take a bullet for me. He protects me like none other. What a sweet photo of you with your MIL. You can see the close connection you two have by looking at it. Hope she has one amazing birthday!

  6. Love the 80's photo! I think I had a pair of shorts like those. :) Happy birthday to your Mother-in-Law! Your description of your husband is what I had in mind when I answered "women and children, first". My prince would sacrifice everything for me or the girls; however, the weight of head of the house/have an answer for hard questions/fixer/computer expert does weigh heavily, I feel like things are easier for me because I do not have those pressures. Thank you for this week's Hodgepodge. I missed last week....made me very sad. Have a toad-ally awesome week!

  7. I remember those lounge chairs! I have a great mother-in-law too. I feel so sad for those who complain about theirs. Enjoy your celebration :)

  8. Great answers. Hope you have a great celebration with your MIL :)

  9. keeps us going! Such a powerful thing! Sometimes it's hard to find, but it's always there when we look.

  10. Happy Birthday to your MIL. I miss mine! She was the bestest!! Have a good week, Joyce

  11. I love how you answered number 2!
    Have fun celebrating your MIL. I am excited to hear about it. :-)

  12. Well, silly me, just remembered to link up my post, about 3 hours late.

    Love your answer to #2, so spot on!

    Happy B'day to your MIL, I had a great one too.

  13. Beautiful answers for question #1. I've always been the spider killer here but he has to do the rodents for sure!!! Way to go on seeing the glass half full. Have a wonderful time celebrating your Mother in Laws birthday.

  14. I missed having a good relationship with my MIL so love hearing about others who were blessed. It also made me determined to be a good one for my DIL and we thankfully have a beautiful relationship. She is truly our Daughter-in-love!

  15. So happy you have a good relationship with MIL. I had a special one as well, miss her now that she has gone to heaven.

  16. Loved the questions and your responses. This was a fun week of questions/answers.

  17. OH, those shorts scream late 80s all the way, baby! Your MIL must be quite a bit like you as well, since your man chose a good one like his mom. I never had a MIL since she passed just before our wedding. Have you been in touch with your neighbor lady from your formative teen years? I bet she has no idea how influential her everyday example was.

  18. Happy Birthday to your MIL! I so wish the Hubby's mom was still on this earth. She would so love her grand kids. Plus so many other reasons. :)

  19. Happy birthday to your MIL!! How nice that you have that easy relationship with her. I was also blessed with a wonderful MIL. I enjoyed your answers Joyce!

  20. I also used the word "weight" when discussing the roles of men and women. My husband would jump, too. Except when a bat is involved. He is in charge of mice, I take care of the bats. :)
    Good Jeopardy category! I'd like to see that one.
    Happy birthday to your mother-in-law. Sounds like you've been fortunate to have some wonderful role models throughout your life.

  21. I don't know about the problem with my link. It worked fine for me. I don't know the site that you were directed to. To err is really foul things up requires a computer.

  22. I think I collect fun dishes... Especially mixing bowls. Not on purpose either, I just seem drawn to them.
    If you like pottery stay away from coastal Maine... There are literally hundreds who make the most beautiful and unique designs... Every fair and craft/art show is a lesson in restraint.